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Work

INTRODUCTION

New Zealand's economy is growing but the job market remains very competitive.
There is strong demand for skilled migrants in a number of industries, but getting a job can still be a challenge. Most employers want to see job applicants and very rarely will offer you a job sight unseen unless you are a rocket scientist or Richard Branson. The New Zealand job market is very different from most countries. Businesses are small with the average company employing between five and ten staff. Consequently, job and personality fit is critical and this can sometimes make finding a position more difficult than market demand would indicate.

The more experience and qualifications you have to offer, the better your chances of securing a suitable position. However, even well qualified migrants can take three or more months to find appropriate employment. It is also common for migrants to accept more junior positions than they held at home. Disappointing as this may be, it does provide an opportunity to acquire the New Zealand work experience most employers demand. These difficulties tend to diminish with time, but it is important to be prepared for a period of adjustment during at least the first year of being in New Zealand.

MAJOR NEW ZEALAND INDUSTRIES BY REGION

1 – Northland
  • Dairy farming
  • Fruit growing
  • Tourism
  • Forestry
  • Fishing
  • Boat-building
  • Ceramic clay and cement mining

    2 – Auckland
  • Education
  • Manufacturing (40% of New Zealand's manufacturing)
  • Distribution (around 45% of New Zealand's wholesalers are based in Auckland)
  • Service industries

    3 - Waikato, Bay of Plenty
  • Dairy farming industries
  • Forestry and timber processing
  • Pulp and paper production
  • Tourism
  • Fishing
  • Horse breeding
  • Horticulture and floriculture
  • Food processing
  • Mining
  • Scientific and industrial research and development

    4 - Hawkes Bay, Gisborne
  • Pastoral farming
  • Horticulture and viticulture
  • Fishing
  • Food processing
  • Tourism
  • Forestry and wood processing
  • Light industrial manufacturing

    5 - Manawatu, Wanganui, Taranaki
  • Pastoral and dairy farming
  • Education
  • Scientific and industrial research
  • Vocational development and training
  • Oil, gas and petrochemical production
  • Processing and engineering
  • Forestry

    6 - Wellington
  • Government
  • Finance
  • Education
  • Scientific and industrial research
  • Tourism
  • Film and television
  • Information technology and telecommunications
  • Secondary processing

    7 - Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast
  • Tourism
  • Viticulture
  • Horticulture
  • Pastoral farming
  • Food processing
  • Fishing and seafood processing
  • Forestry and wood processing
  • Mining

    8 – Canterbury
  • Pastoral and dairy farming
  • Horticulture
  • Viticulture
  • Tourism
  • Education
  • Research and development
  • Manufacturing
  • Electronics, telecommunications, software development
  • Biotechnology
  • Food processing

    9 - Otago, Southland
  • Pastoral and dairy farming
  • Fishing and seafood processing
  • Forestry and wood processing
  • Tourism
  • Education
  • Engineering and manufacturing
  • Gold mining

    Finding a Job

    All the daily papers carry a Situations Vacant section advertising job vacancies.
    The largest listings can be found in:

    Trade me jobs
    Seek Employment NZ
    New Zealand Herald (national coverage)
    The Dominion Post (Wellington area coverage)
    The Press (Southland /Christchurch area coverage)
    Monday, Wednesday and Saturday editions carry the most extensive job vacancy sections.

    Professional journals
    Job vacancies are listed in most professional journals.
    Career opportunities in education
    Primary and secondary school posts are advertised in The Education Gazette, published by the Ministry of Education.
    Vacancies within universities and polytechnics are advertised in major papers and on the websites of individual institutions.
    For primary and secondary school teaching positions visit TEACHNZ or freephone: 0800 832 246 (0800 TEACHNZ).
    Executive placements
    Executive and professional management positions are generally handled by private recruitment agencies. Most international placement agencies are represented in New Zealand.

    APPLYING FOR A JOB



    Speaking English
    Employers will require that you understand and speak English. The standard of English demanded by most employers is much higher than the qualifying International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score required for permanent residence. The more skilled your job, the better your English will need to be. Consequently, even if you have scored 6.5 or higher in the IELTS, there is much to be gained from continuing to improve your skills in spoken and written English. A wide range of English language courses is available at all levels.

    YOUR SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS



    Professional and academic qualifications are evaluated by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. This is done on a comparative basis with similar New Zealand qualifications and determines whether or not overseas qualifications meet New Zealand standards. However, although NZQA evaluations are official assessments, they are not binding on employers, professional bodies or educational institutions. If your qualifications do not meet New Zealand standards, you may have to undertake extra study or retraining to secure the job you want.

    It is advisable to contact the NZQA before leaving for New Zealand. You should also ensure that you bring original or certified copies of all certificates, diplomas, degrees and professional qualifications with you, as these will need to be sighted by prospective employers.

    CVs / RÉSUMES



    When responding to a job advertisement in writing, you will be required to submit a curriculum vitae (CV) or a professional resume, along with your letter of application.

    Your CURRICULUM VITAE should be brief. Most employers prefer CVs of between two and four pages.

    It should provide a concise summary of your:
  • personal details – e.g. full name, date of birth
  • contact details
  • qualifications and computer skills
  • professional/trade skills
  • work experience and achievements
  • referees.

    It is not necessary to include letters of reference or academic/professional certificates with your application. These will be requested later for review during the job selection process. Make sure that you either deliver these personally or by courier, and that they are returned once the job selection is completed.

    Acceptability of professional/trade qualifications

    Some employers require you to have professional registration even if this is not a legal requirement. Consequently, the status of your professional training and qualifications is extremely important. Although you may be professionally qualified in your home country and have practiced for a number of years, this does not mean your experience and qualifications will be recognised automatically in New Zealand.

    Registration

    Many professional and trades people (such as doctors, lawyers, plumbers and electricians) need to register with a Registration Board before they can work in New Zealand. We have provided below the list of Registration Boards. Conditions of Employment

    Rates of pay

    New Zealand Department of Labour has a list of salaries & wages for most skills. As a general rule, usually the amount of pay depends on your Employment Agreement, your experience and qualifications and your employer's employment policies. There are also significant regional differences in average earnings.

    In New Zealand you are entitled to at least the minimum wage as set by law if you are 16 years or older. Employment agreements cannot offer a wage less than the minimum rate. Trainees undergoing recognised industry training while at work must be paid at least the minimum youth rate regardless of their age.

    Paying tax

    As a New Zealand resident you will be required to pay tax on all the income you receive, whether this is generated in New Zealand or overseas. To do so you will need to apply to Inland Revenue for an IRD number. This is generally issued within 10 working days and is required to start a job or open a bank account. It also ensures that personal tax records are recorded properly.

    Taxable income:
    up to $14,000: 10.5 cents
    $14,001 to $48,000 inclusive: 17.5 cents
    $48,001 to $70,000: 30 cents
    $70,000 and over: 33 cents


    Accident insurance

    Workplace injuries are covered by the Government's accident insurance scheme, which is managed by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
    In order to reduce the incidence of workplace injuries, the ACC also runs incentive programmes which provide employers with discounts on their premiums if certain safety targets are met.

    Health and safety

    New Zealand's occupational health and safety laws require all employers to provide a safe working environment. Likewise, employees must follow all safety procedures.
    For further information, visit the Department of Labour website or Work Safe New Zealand

    EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS



    The Department of Labour website provides up-to-date information on all aspects of employer/employee relations. If problems arise in an employment relationship, employees or employers can get help from the Department of Labour Contact Centre, freephone: 0800 20 90 20.

    EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS



    All employers must offer their workers either an individual or a collective Employment Agreement written in plain language.
    What Employment Agreements include
    Main legal requirements:

  • minimum wages for employees aged 16 or older
  • the same rate for the same job for male and female employees
  • four weeks' paid annual leave after 12 months in the job
  • 11 public holidays per year, when these fall on days of the week when an employee would otherwise work
  • after six months' employment:     five days of sick leave for the next year and thereafter     three days' bereavement leave on the death of a close family member, or one day for another person where your employer agrees     13 weeks' paid maternity leave.
  • leave for defence force volunteers.

    For further information, call Department of Labour Employment Relations Infoline, freephone: 0800 800 863

    Employment Agreements may also include conditions relating to:
  • duties and responsibilities
  • the term of the agreement
  • pay rates and basis for pay
  • other payments
  • pay day
  • method of pay
  • pay review
  • hours of work
  • holidays and other leave
  • training
  • health and safety
  • consultation
  • company policies/codes of conduct
  • restraint of trade
  • ending the agreement – resignation, retirement and dismissal
  • redundancy
  • contract renewal price.

    Fixed-Term Employment Agreements

    Fixed-term agreements can only be offered when a fixed term is genuinely required as in the case of seasonal or temporary work. The employer must make this clear to the employee before work starts and explain why this is the case. If these conditions are met there is no automatic right to the renewal or extension of a fixed-term employment agreement. As a general rule, a fixed-term agreement means just that. So it pays to be cautious about your expectations of continued employment, even though you may feel you have performed well in a temporary position. However, most agreements are open-ended.

    If problems do arise in an employment relationship, employees and employers can get information and guidance by contacting the Department of Labour. Contact Centre freephone: 0800 20 90 20

    Resignation

    Employees can resign at any time within the terms of their Employment Agreement.

    Dismissal

    There must be good reason for a dismissal and the dismissal must be carried out fairly. If the employee believes they have been treated unfairly in their employment, whether they have been dismissed or not, they may take action against their employer in the form of a 'personal grievance'.

    Redundancy

    There is no right to redundancy compensation unless employers and employees and/or their union have agreed to it. This can be before or after an actual redundancy is planned.

    Retirement

    New Zealand's National Superannuation Scheme entitles everyone to a pension at the age of 65. Residence requirements vary. There is no set age to retire and it is illegal to force retirement because of an employee's age.

    Unions and bargaining

    Employees can choose whether they wish to join a union. Jobs cannot be withheld on the basis of membership or non-membership of a union. Employees who choose to belong to a union are covered by the union's collective agreement but are also free to negotiate extra conditions.

    Employees who choose not to belong to a union must negotiate an individual Employment Agreement.

    New employees

    Conditions depend on whether a collective agreement covers the employee's work. If there is no collective agreement, then an individual Employment Agreement can be negotiated. The employer must make a written offer and give the employee the opportunity to get advice about it.
    If there is a collective agreement, the following options are available if the employee:
  • belongs to the union Conditions of employment are those in the collective agreement. The employer and employee can also negotiate extra conditions.
  • is not a union member The employee has an individual Employment Agreement. This comprises the conditions in the collective agreement and any extra conditions negotiated with the employer. After 30 days the employee must decide whether to join the union.
  • chooses not to join the union
    The employer and employee negotiate an individual agreement.

    NEW ZEALAND UNEMPLOYMENT RATES



    In July 2013, New Zealand's unemployment rate was 6.4%; lower than United States at 7.4%, Australia at 5.7%, Canada at 7.1% and France 10.4%. The Euro-zone average was 12.2%.

    Work Related Websites/Freephones



  • New Kiwis Specialises in placing resident migrants in appropriate work.
    You can register only after you have arrived in New Zealand.
  • New Kiwi Career Success Programme
    Run by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, the programme is a series of free career coaching seminars and workshops aimed at learning migrants how to write a proper New Zealand CV, stand in an interview or make a successful cold call. The seminars are also great opportunities to network.

    GOVERNMENT SITES

    Accident Compensation Corporation
    Provides information on accident insurance scheme payments. Freephone: 0800 101 996

    Department of Labour
    Comprehensive information on all aspects of work in New Zealand. Publishes a useful range of free booklets on such topics as employment relations and occupational safety and health. Many can be downloaded from the site.
    Freephone: 0800 20 90 20

    Inland Revenue

    Government department responsible for administering New Zealand's tax system. Freephone: 0800 277 774

    TeachNZ
    Teacher training information
    Freephone: 0800 832 246 (0800 TEACHNZ)

    NEW ZEALAND REGISTRATION BOARDS



  • Accountants
    Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
    PO Box 11-342
    Wellington 6142
    Telephone: +64 4 474 7840
    NZ Freephone: 0800 469 422
    Facsimile: +64 4 473 6303

  • Architects
    New Zealand Registered Architects Board
    PO Box 11-106
    Wellington 6142
    Telephone: +64 4 801 8972
    Facsimile: +64 4 801 7010

  • Barristers & Solicitors
    New Zealand Law Society
    PO Box 5041
    Wellington 6145
    Telephone: +64 4 472 7837
    Registry freephone: 0800 223 030

  • Chiropractors, Dieticians, Dispensing Opticians, Medical Laboratory Scientists, Medical Laboratory Technicians, Medical Radiation Technologists, Midwives, Osteopaths, Optometrists, Podiatrists and Psychologists
    Health Professional Regulatory Bodies
    PO Box 10-509
    Wellington 6143
    Telephone: +64 4 384 7635
    NZ Freephone: 0800 268 801

  • Dental Surgeons & Technicians
    Dental Council of New Zealand
    PO Box 10-448
    Wellington 6142
    Telephone: +64 4 499 4820
    Facsimile: +64 4 499 1668

  • Electricians, Electrical Service Technicians, Line Mechanics
    Electrical Workers Registration Board
    PO Box 10-156
    Wellington 6143
    Telephone: +64 3 943 4254
    NZ Freephone: 0800 661 000
    Facsimile: +64 4 473 2395

  • Engineers
    The Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand
    PO Box 12-241
    Wellington 6144
    Telephone: +64 4 473 9444
    Facsimile: +64 4 474 8933

  • Registered Nurses
    Nursing Council of New Zealand
    PO Box 9644
    Wellington
    Telephone: +64 4 802 0247
    Facsimile: +64 4 801 8502

  • Medical Practitioners
    Medical Council of New Zealand
    PO Box 11-649
    Wellington
    Telephone: +64 4 384 7635
    NZ Freephone: 0800 268 801
    Facsimile: +64 4 385 8902

  • Occupational Therapists
    Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand
    PO Box 10 202
    The Terrace, Wellington 6143
    Telephone: +64 4 918 4740
    Facsimile: +64 4 918 4746

  • Pharmacists
    Pharmacy Council of New Zealand
    PO Box 25 137
    Wellington 6146
    Telephone: +64 4 495 0330
    Facsimile: +64 4 495 0331

  • Physiotherapists
    Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand
    PO Box 10-734
    Wellington 6143
    Telephone: +64 4 471 2610
    Facsimile: +64 4 471 2613

  • Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers
    NZ Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board
    PO Box 10-655
    Wellington 6143
    Telephone: +64 4 494 2970
    NZ Freephone: 0800 743 262
    Facsimile: +64 4 494 2975

  • Real Estate Agents
    The Real Estate Agents Authority
    PO Box 25-371
    Panama Street, Wellington 6146
    Telephone: +64 4 471 8930
    NZ Freephone: 0800 367 7322
    Facsimile: +64 4 815 8468

  • Surveyors
    New Zealand Institute of Surveyors
    PO Box 5304
    Wellington 6145
    Telephone: +64 4 471 1774
    Facsimile: +64 4 471 1907

  • Teachers
    New Zealand Teachers Council
    PO Box 5326
    Wellington 6145
    Telephone: +64 4 471 0852
    Facsimile: +64 4 471 0870

  • Veterinarians/Veterinary Surgeons
    Veterinary Council of New Zealand
    PO Box 10-563
    Wellington 6143
    Telephone: +64 4 473 9600
    Facsimile: +64 4 473 8869
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